The death of Jo Cox is a big loss to us all. She was a wife, a mum, a proud Northerner, she radiated love and stood against hatred and intolerance. She was everything we should want from an MP.
Her friend Jess Philips, another straight-talking high-profile woman, spoke recently of how they would support each other as new MPs. They would call, have dinner and monitor each other’s Twitter feeds, checking-in when the trolls became too much.
Jo’s death was not random. She was chosen because of what she stood for. Her murder was a product of home-grown terrorism; her views on immigration seen as a betrayal by bigots who hate.
We can keep our heads in the sand. We can feel sad and pretend that Jo’s death was a random act, perpetrated by a madman with no agenda other than to settle the voices in his head. Alternatively we can admit that the xenophobia seen in support for Brexit, UKIP and Britain First is fuelling a racist agenda; inciting hate-speech and hate-crime against anyone who is not white, anyone who is not British or anyone who stands in solidarity to fight it.
The misogyny experienced by women who speak out is real. It is real online when they are threatened with rape, mutilation and death. It is real when it is murder.
Jo’s death is more complex than ‘woman hating’. Xenophobia acted out in an extreme form of masculinity killed Jo Cox. Let’s acknowledge this awful truth and, in the words of her husband Brendan, “unite to fight against the hatred that killed Jo”.
At the time of writing the fundraising page in memory of Jo Cox had raised over £1.4million.
— New Statesman (@NewStatesman) June 16, 2016